We're big fans of autumn travel. Seeing the fall foliage in Europe, Japan, the Canadian Rockies or New England? You bet. Wine tours? Count us in. Italy when the weather has cooled and the crowds have departed? Absolutely! But there are also some fabulous trips that you can take in the fall that are tied to very specific special events. We thought you should know about them, so we picked five of the best.
While there are Oktoberfest celebrations all around the world, you haven't really experienced Oktoberfest until you've experienced the celebration in Munich. But don't let the name fool you. This two-and-a-half week long festival in Munich actually gets cranking in September, by tradition. These days, the schedule has been modified so that it now extends into October a smidge, to line up with reunification celebrations. It's the world's largest Volksfestival, with amusement rides, games, a parade and lots and lots and LOTS of bier. By law, only beer that's brewed in Munich can be served at Oktoberfest, but you won't die of thirst looking for options, because there are many breweries that qualify. Find a pavillion or tent, order a stein, and have the time of your life!
Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. The festival, which coincides with the Hindu New Year, celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. It's also the perfect occasion for visiting India! The celebrations are very different in different parts of the country, so if you can visit more than one city during the five days, you can have very different Diwali experiences. In Goa, houses are decorated with lanterns and effigies of demons. In Amritsar, they celebrate the Sixth Sikh Guru, who freed himself and Hindu Kings from the prison of Jahangir and arrived at the Golden temple in 1619. In Varanasi (or Baranas), one of the holiest cities in India, the entire city is lit up, and spectacular fireworks abound. What better time to visit India?
3. London Fashion Week
Even if you’re not a blogger, designer, press, buyer or marketer, you can still attend London Fashion Week. Somerset House is open to the public, and although you can't just plop yourself down in the front row without a ticket, you can see a lot, even without official passes. Anyone can get inside along with their camera, to scope out celebrities and check out the scene. If you want to get into an actual show, however, those are invitation only. Still, you can ask for an invitation by going to the fashion week website and sending a well-crafted email to the Press Office, explaining why you should get a ticket. Then, go to the show and rub elbows with the other fashionistas!
Many tourist destinations claim to be the best place to celebrate Halloween, but we think that New Orleans is a no-brainer. In New Orleans, Halloween is about much more than kids trick-or-treating. In fact, it's probably only second to Mardi Gras in terms of over-the-top fun in the Big Easy! Take a haunted tour, explore some of the voodoo shops, watching the Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade (usually the Saturday before Halloween), or going to one of the many, many street parties. Admittedly, New Orleans always feels like one big street party, but Halloween is super extra fun!
5. Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos).
For those of you who think that Día de Muertos is basically "Mexican Halloween," you are exactly wrong about that. Día de Muertos is a holiday that celebrates loved ones that have passed, and which contemplates the larger questions about life and mortality. Many Mexicans celebrate privately at home, but there are also raucous parties in cemeteries throughout Mexico, where they might make the favorite foods of their departed relatives, and celebrate robustly. And here's a fun fact--that giant Día de Muertos parade in Mexico City that you saw in that James Bond movie? Well, that wasn't a thing when they shot the movie, but since the movie was released? -- It sure is now! Whether you're celebrating in Mexico City, Oaxaca, San Miguel de Allende or Merida, you can certainly find a fun cultural celebration to join.
Whew! I feel like we've just been all around the world in one listicle! Well, if you're ooking for a fun cultural experience when you travel this fall, just know that we can send you to any of these fabulous destinations. So, just drop us a line and let us know!